The transfer window in Spain is now officially open and according to the latest reports from the local papers, Barça must sell players first in order to then be able to afford both Lautaro Martínez and Eric García this summer. On top of that, the game against Napoli beckons and Lionel Messi will be ready to welcome the Italians, as ever.
The big match is on the schedule this Saturday night and the Camp Nou will host another glorious Champions League clash, this time, however, with no fans in the attendance. And while the fanbase is unsure whether the Catalans have what it takes to beat the Italian squad, Mundo Deportivo are calm. Why? Messi, of course.
They remind us that the Argentine is unstoppable at the Camp Nou and has has 12 consecutive wins there, 19 goals in his last 14 matches and 10/11 games won in all of his round of 16 return leg performances. Quite astonishing numbers, to say the least.
But Messi is the only constant and it will be interesting to see Quique Setién’s chosen supporting cast. Apparently, he has already decided on his starting XI.
Sport, on the other hand, are still focusing on the market. With the window now officially open, Barça must sell players if they want to buy big again. Inter’s Lautaro and Manchester City’s Garcia are still their primary targets.
Sport also go on to list the players that could be on the chopping block. The likes of Ivan Rakitić, Samuel Umtiti, Philippe Coutinho, Jean-Clair Todibo, Rafinha, Martin Braithwaite and Junior Firpo are all listed.
Needless to say, it will be another wild ride for Barcelona.
Coutinho and Pjanic speak post Barça 1-0 Elche
Barça midfielders Philippe Coutinho and new signing Miralem Pjanic spoke to the media after Barça’s narrow 1-0 triumph over Elche at the Camp Nou.
“Being back here feels great. I missed playing here, and I’m very excited to continue.” Coutinho told the media. “We’re trying our best to adapt to the coach’s new system. The level of the team is increasing; I hope things go well.”
After having featured in all three pre-season games for Barça, Coutinho is looking forward to the upcoming La Liga season. “I am eager to help the team win. There is one week left till La Liga starts and we are all focused and excited to begin.”
“I feel very happy that I made my debut. It was great.” Pjanic said after the game. “The team are working hard to prepare for the upcoming matches.”
Miralem Pjanic and Philippe Coutinho are both essentially new additions to the Barça squad since Pjanic just joined from Juventus and Coutinho returned back from his loan spell at Bayern – where he won the treble in a remarkable fashion. Things are looking bright for Coutinho, who has featured in all of Barça’s three pre-season games. Culés around the world are expecting big things from the two after having lost Brazilian youngster Arthur to Juventus this summer.